Forest Lake High School seniors Mariah Daninger and Ben Plautz were named Region IV Stars at the FFA competition on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Each student’s Minnesota FFA degree application is reviewed to evaluate contributions to the Supervised Agricultural Experience program, leadership involvement and community service.
Daninger’s Star in Agricultural Placement reflects her investment of time at the family dairy, Autumnwood Farm. She also credits her agriculture courses. “I was able to participate in valuable leadership development and community service activities that have prepared me for my future,” said Daninger. She plans to major in agricultural education at the University of Minnesota next year.
Plautz, who started Pro Care Companies, Inc. for his Supervised Agricultural Experience program, placed in the agribusiness category.
“I started by mowing lawns for neighbors, but after a $1,000 grant from the National FFA, I now bid jobs and subcontract for other landscapers,” Plautz said. He plans to major in landscape technology and turf grass management.
Each category has eight finalists for the State Star award. Applications will be reviewed by a committee, who will also conduct on-site interviews, to select the state winners.
Two Forest Lake teams also qualified for the state competition in Career Development Events: the novice parliamentary procedure team of freshmen Megan Palmer, Kyra Quillen, Eli Wahlgren, Cameron Strand, Andrew Espinosa and Crystal Stafford, and the parliamentary procedure team of seniors Plautz, Daninger and Karlee Lawrence, with juniors Sarah Neeck and Joe Ramstad and sophomore Amanda Stafford.
Ramstad will also advance to the Minnesota Farm Bureau Discussion Meet after placing second in Region IV. At that meet, students discuss agricultural issues in a town hall format.
The Forest Lake FFA has 11 teams, including six regional champions, who have qualified for state competition in April.
These competitions build on what is learned in agriculture classes and encourage members to put knowledge into practice.
More events will take place this spring; for a list visit www.ForestLakeFFA.org.